NORMAN — The University of Oklahoma is giving fans a chance to help beat the University of Texas off the football field as the schools extend the Red River rivalry to their respective pantry collections.
Throughout the month of September, the OU Food Pantry, 333 Cate Center Drive in Norman, and Texas Food Pantry, UT Outpost, will compete to see which pantry can receive the most donations from non-perishable food products.
Both universities are located in states with higher than average rates of food insecurity, and the campuses hope the competition, called the “Red River Food Fight,” will help alleviate some of that need.
“It’s a fun way to celebrate a historic rivalry,” said Matt Marks, campus care coordinator and director of the OU Food Pantry. “There’s a lot of competitiveness on the football field, but we’re coming together to fight food insecurity and hunger, which is plaguing our two states. Texas and Oklahoma are two of the hungriest states in our country and this is a great way to come together to take action to solve this problem. We have a great relationship with the Texas Food Pantry and we’ve just had some great conversations with them to bring this all together and unite around a very lively game to try to take care of the people within our communities.
How the Red River Rivalry Led to a Food Drive
The idea for the competition began last fall when Royce Coleman, a sophomore biochemistry student and OU Food Pantry’s associate director of campus engagement, began having conversations with UT. Both schools were immediately interested, but the timeline was not realistic for a 2022 completion.
“The original goal of the competition was to use our historic rivalry and extremely passionate fans to benefit both of our food pantries, which would allow us to better provide for our students and staff,” Coleman said. “We hope that the many fans of this rivalry (the biggest college rivalry in the country, if I may say so) will join us in promoting this competition and help us combat the food insecurity that exists on our campuses.” »
More: How Oklahoma Football Can Stay Undefeated Before Facing Texas in the Red River Showdown
The winner of the Red River Food Fight will be named the “Red River Food Fight Champion” and will be announced on October 7, the day of the Red River Rivalry football game.
Boxes to donate canned and sustainable foods to the OU food pantry have been placed throughout the OU campus, and donations can also be dropped off at the pantry. Other items and monetary donations are always welcome but will not be donated to the competition.
This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: Red River rivalry leaves field with pantry drive